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Pavilion at the Park Bedford

Bedford Park

locally produced, seasonal food. We cook simple and imaginative dishes and high quality British cuisine.

Filtering by Category: Half Term

Little Free Library at the Kiosk at the Park

Our very own little free library in situ at The Kiosk Those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will know that we've had a book-themed plot up our sleeves for a while now - but if you've not heard the news - a Little Free Library is now in situ at Kiosk at the Park! Masterminded by local book enthusiast Rachael Rogan, it's a free community library - on a very small scale. We asked Rachael to tell us about the inspiration behind her idea of bringing the Little Free Library to Bedford, and what plans she had for it:

"When I first read about the Little Free Library movement I felt the surge of excitement normally reserved for the release of the latest Neil Gaiman novel. A friend, knowing of my love for all things book-like, pointed me to the growing number of over-sized birdhouses popping up across the US, housing books for locals to freely take, enjoy, return or exchange. As she said, “It seems like your kind of thing Rach…”. A dollhouse filled with books? What’s not to fall deeply in love with, begin obsessing over and make your latest mission?

On further reading I discovered that, not only was it deeply exciting, but it had a broader mission - to promote four of my favourite things: a sense of community, reading for children, literacy for adults, and libraries. By this stage I was hyperventilating and only dogs could hear me. Of course, the first step, ‘Build a library’, was fairly problematic, given that I have absolutely no skills in the rather necessary areas of carpentry, joinery, making things waterproof…

Luckily, an idea like this seems to attract the interest of other like-minded souls. And when one of those souls, local Handy Man Marc Simpson, happens to be something of a Grand Vizier of Craftsmanship, the result is a thing of beauty worthy of housing Bedford’s favourite books. A random text to local High Priestess of Horticulture (and Gardening Editor at The Guardian) Jane Perrone along the lines of “Oooh, wouldn’t it be cool if the Little Free Library had a green roof??” led to a Marc/Jane collaboration, which led to the creation of a living canopy. And a hesitant, “Do you think The Kiosk would like a Little Free Library..?” to Coffee Overlords Emma Garrett and Nansi Rose, provided it with a loving home.

In fact, from that first over-excited, optimistic moment, the Little Free Library has taken on a life of it’s own. As word has spread the book donations have flooded in – beloved favourites from locals, contributions from authors, even packages from publishers. However, it’s important that the library starts as it means to go on - something created by everyone, for everyone. So when the Library arrives at it’s new home after storytime at The Kiosk at The Park on Monday, it will be empty. We’re inviting you to fill the library with your favourite books in time for the big launch on Saturday 22nd February.

Do you have a book that you go back to again and again? Something you’d like to share with friends - and soon-to-be-friends? Spread the love – become part of the Little Free Library movement! "

http://vimeo.com/72957294

Another local bookworm, aged 8, has already got going on that last very important bit - filling the Little Free Library with great books - and has made a list of five of her all-time favourites:

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr

The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson

Atticus Claw Breaks the Law by Jennifer Gray

Alfie gets in First by Shirley Hughes

All time favourites of an 8 year old

We've found that all of these are available second-hand from Amazon Marketplace OR on Ebay, for the princely sum of between 1p and 50p, plus postage. Which is an excellent way to ensure that the Little Free Library stocks great recommendations, if you want to lend your favourite stories without having to donate your own copies.

The Grand Opening (including ceremonious cutting of the ribbon by exciting local Bedford book-celebrity!) of Bedford’s first Little Free Library will take place at 10:30 am on Saturday 22nd February.  Please join us for free 'Hungry Caterpillar' cake and try your hand at designing your own bookplate.

And, if you can't wait til the weekend, don't forget, The Library is now in place at The Kiosk at the Park (Russell Park) and the books are already flying in and off the shelves!

We've been collecting some beautiful pictures of Little Free Libraries on Pinterest - have a look at some amazing ones here! Please spread the word that the Little Free Library movement has come to Bedford - and share your books with us!

An afternoon at The Higgins

Are you excited about the re-opening of The Higgins ? We were! So on a very sunny Sunday, we went to have a nose around. The new look museum and gallery is light, airy and beautifully laid out. The courtyard entrance, decorated with brightly coloured bunting and which hosts a lovely cafe, is the perfect welcome. It was great to see some community art projects alongside beautiful works by Edward Burne-Jones, Rosetti and William Burges. The 'A Sense of Place' exhibition was curated by artists Alex Julyan and Lucy Wilson and brings together works by ten different community groups, all exploring their sense of 'place.'  It is part of The Higgins’ Audience Development Project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. All of the groups have all had a relationship with The Higgins for some time and include family carers, from Carers in Bedford, (read more about the group here) adults with learning disabilities, first-generation Italian migrants, members of the Polish British Integration Centre and people in new housing area, Wixhams.

You can see more work by Carers in Bedfordshire at the Tourist Information Office from 21st May 2013 until the 25th July 2013 and then at Borough Hall from 25th July 2013 until 1st October 2013.

Here are a few highlights of a lovely day out in Bedford's Cultural Quarter.

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Higgins 3

If you are worried about whether it is wise to take children to a museum, then take a look at this 'colouring station' - loads of sheets to colour so that your offspring can 'redesign' some of the artwork without being evicted from the premesis. A good range of well-sharpened colouring pencils too: no blunt crayons here!

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There is also a brilliant afternoon tea section with lovely tea sets and cake stands for the kids to play with whilst you learn about the local origins of this great British tradition, and a dressing up box full of bonnets, top hats and long gloves for children to try on.

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The exhibition of William Burges' painted furniture; his Sleeping Beauty bed and Narcissus mirror were a particular highlight, as was the Edward Bawden exhibition, and The Great Bedfordians section. And there is a great history of the British Afternoon Tea ritual (of which we are known to be partial to at The Kiosk.) Oh, and a porcelain cauliflower. You don't see many of those. The gift shop has got some lovely items, and enough pocket-money buys to keep the smaller visitors satisfied. It is also worth noting that The Higgins offers rooms and gallery space to hire out for events;  it would make the perfect venue for meetings, workshops and other events - there are concessionary rates for charities. See here for details.

All in all, The Higgins is a triumph, and a credit to Bedford. We can't wait to go back for more!

Mini Golf at the Kiosk

ImageRussell Park is full of interesting things to do: adventure playground, climbing trees, space for rugby, football, hide and seek, scooting, bike-riding, dog walking, tennis, table tennis and MINI GOLF. Also known as 'pitch and putt', there are different ways to describe it - but basically a mini 18-hole course, right here in the park!

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If you're looking for something to keep yourself or your offspring busy for an hour or so - why not try your luck on the course, just behind the kiosk!  All the equipment is available to hire from the Kiosk. It's cheap, fun, and outdoors - just think of all the vitamin D* you'll be soaking up whilst aiming for that hole in one! Or two, or three. Or, let's face it, these things take time to perfect.

Three (or 4, if you count a comedy shopping opportunity) reasons to play mini Golf in Russell Park:

Reason 1: We found this great review of the course on this blog here - written by Richard Gottfried, who is a British Minigolf Association (BMGA) Tour Pro, Great Britain International Minigolfer & a member of the 2008 BMGA British Club Champions – the Midlands Minigolf Club. So he knows his stuff. He says 'the course is in excellent condition with good equipment and scorecards. Last time out I scored a 48(+12), with a hole-in-one on the 15th hole and this time I scored a slightly better 46(+10) and an Ace on the 14th hole.'

So there's a score to beat!

Reason 2: The Mayor does it. As does 3 Counties Radio DJ Nick Coffer. It's basically a celebrity sport.

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Reason 3: You could introduce it as a lunchtime activity for your office or a group of colleagues. Think of the benefits of getting fresh air, some time out of the office AND the chance to fit in some always-welcome  team-building and socializing time. Oh, and the Kiosk just happens to be a great place for lunch...Here are the guys from Woods Hardwick at the Kiosk for a bit of lunchtime mini-golf. We'd love to see some more local firms following suit - we're planning to start a lunchtime league, just to give you that competitive edge to your lunchtime putting.  Give us a call on 01234 271877 to find out more.

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Reason 4: If you get good enough, you could buy yourself this t-shirt:

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*the Kiosk can guarantee you nice cakes and tea afterwards, but not sunshine. It's just not in our remit, OK?

 

Kiosk at the Park's Guide to enjoying a Cheep Easter!

The thought of two weeks of arctic condition Easter holidays is enough to strike fear into any parent - but if you are feeling like this - perhaps we can help. We've picked the brains of some of our customers who are also the proud owners of school-age children for their top tips for holiday entertainment on a budget. 1. Wrap up warm and go for a nature hunt in the park. Once the children have collected their treasure they could have a go at making some stuff with it. For a start, lots of feathers and twigs are good for an Indian headdress when combined with card or fabric to tie round your head. Or you could make a nature mobile using strong thread or string. And there's always leaf printing with poster paints on paper or fabric paint on cloth.

Make a nature-mobile

2. Dad tip #1:  Make a home cinema. For an authentic cinematic experience on the cheep, get a dvd the kids haven't seen before (Bedford Central Library have a good selection you can hire for a week for just £1.40, or Blockbusters in Kempston is a good place to look for newer titles you can hire,) draw the curtains and get the popcorn in! Invite friends and add beanbags for a really great (easy) afternoons' entertainment.

3. Enter the Kiosk at the Park drawing competition! All you have to do is draw and colour your very own Easter Picture using felt tips, crayons or colouring pencils on a sheet of A4 paper. Write your name, age, email address and a contact number on the back. Hand it in at The Kiosk before April 12th, and you will be in with the chance of winning a hamper of Easter goodies. The winner will be announced on April 14th, and will be judged by members of the Circus of Illustration!  There will be paper and colouring pencils available at The Kiosk throughout the holiday - so come and do Colouring at the Kiosk!

Get colouring in!

4. Take a well-wrapped-up walk around Mowsbury Woods, which are just behind Mowsbury Park It's perfect boy-and-stick territory, and if you take wellies and a jam jar, you can wade about in the stream, and bring home some interesting stream-life. (Or some precious pond weed.)

5. Dad-tip #2: Visit Priory Marina. Ideal for slightly older children, the new(ish) adventure playgound near the car park features a flying fox! Other attractions at Priory include a labyrinth, a walk around the finger lakes, and the best stone-skimming destination in all of Bedford.

6. Dye some eggs. Well, it is Easter, after all.  For a simple approach, dip boiled eggs into bowls of food colouring for a beautiful coloured effect. Accessorize with soldiers! For more advanced egg decorating, see here.

Egg dying - simple, but beautiful.

7. Go egg rolling. You're in good company if you do - it's the Easter day activity at The White House, no less. For this, you just need hard boiled eggs, and a hill. You may also need chalk for marking out the points that your contestants' eggs reach. Refereeing skills are preferable.

Egg Rolling

8. Do some baking. Let's face it, any cake looks better with the addition of some decorative chicks/mini eggs/foil-wrapped bunnies. If you want to make an Easter Victoria sponge, have a look at the tips here from one of our awesome baking team, Karen.

Easter Nest Cakes

9. Take a day trip to Watergate Farm near Leighton Buzzard to see some newborn lambs! Admission really is cheep - £3.50 for adults, £2.50 for kids, and you can  also take a tractor ride, see baby pigs, or have a pony ride. Wellies are a good idea.

10. Come to Russell Park, grab a warming drink and some sustaining snacks from The Kiosk. You are bound to run into other owners of small children. As well as our colouring competition, we will have Face Painting duo Sophie & Millie on hand to create artworks like this:

Face Art

At least the kids might sit still for ten minutes!

We'd love to hear any of your ideas for keeping kids busy over the holidays! Comment on the blog, or leave a post on our Facebook page.

Half Term Fun and Games

If you are having a 'staycation' half term, and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a pricey marathon of entertainment-finding, don't worry! We have done the hard work for you and scouted out some fun, and crucially inexpensive things to do over the next week, all in and around Russell Park in Bedford!  Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to see how many of the 10 activities we have found you can tick off in the week.

1. RUSSELL PARK 

Come down to play in Russell Park and stop off at The Kiosk– we have lots of exciting things planned for the week – as well as the usual tea, coffee, cakes, goodies, milk & biscuits and of course our famous Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Mountain Explosions!

Monday 18th 9.30am - join us for Songtime with Kris from The Frogs Chorus

Wednesday 20th 11am - 3.00pm come down and do some badgemaking with Celene

Friday 22nd 2pm - 4pm Facepainting with the lovely, and extremely talented, Sophie

2. IN THE SWIM

Even if you're not going away somewhere hot this half-term, you can still visit Bedford's very own Tropical Paradise – The Oasis Beach Pool. Open for Holiday Supersplash Sessions from 10 - 4.30, Monday to Friday, with off-peak swimming sessions from 4.30 - 7.30. There are some great offers on admission prices available here, valid until the 28th February.

3. DISCOVER A WHOLE NEW WORLD

Not only is the Bedford Central Library free, it is also warm and dry, (always a bonus for days when the weather doesn't behave itself.) Let the kids have a rummage through the bookshelves, while you sit in the storytelling chair and remember the days of Bernard Cribbens and Jackanory!  Peruse the notice board which is a mine of information or escape to another world by burying your own head in a book! There is also a great coffee shop where you can sit and watch the world go by.  

Wednesday 20th:11.00 - 12.00

Chinese New Year Storytime - Fabulous stories and crafts - fun all ages.

Friday 22nd1.00 - 4.00

Pitta Puppets - Drop in and make puppet kings and queens with Jim Morris.

Chatterbooks is a group for 8 to 12 year olds which runs every three weeks with crafts, games, quizzes and more! The next meeting is Saturday 2nd March at 2.30.

4CRAFTY PLAN #1

Visit The Kiln on Bedford High Street. Call in, choose some pottery – loads of shapes and sizes available to paint and decorate and they will fire it for you, ready to collect a week later.  There is also a lovely coffee shop and tea room - not that we need caffeine to enjoy ourselves you understand!

5. SAY CHEESE

If you're not going away, photography is a great way to see familiar places in a totally new light, and get a new perspective on where you live.  If you like a challenge, we are running a photographic competition at The Kiosk, the closing date for entries being March 10th. To tie in with Crufts 2013, your subject needs to be of the Canine variety, but If you don't already own a dog, why not phone a friend who does? See if you can go for a walk with them and their four-legged friend and take some pics to enter Canines at The Kiosk. For some handy tips on animal photography, have a read of this guide for children on the National Geographic site, happy snapping!  For competition categories, terms and conditions read here!

6CRAFTY PLAN #2

Buy a Craft Kit from Bedford's The School of Craft – there is free delivery on craft kits this week, which include all you need to make your own Mexican Wrestlers Mask, or Modernist Flower Display! The boxes fold out into a mini-magazine with full instructions, extra activities and lots of information.

7. MOVIE MAGIC

Wreck it Ralph (times available here) is sure to be a hit with the younger contingent, on over half term at Cineworld, just a short walk from Russell Park. For very cheap cinema-fun, check out the Saturday morning kids' films.  At only £1 per person it's a bargain, and did you know, if you book online you can save 10%?!

8. FLAPJACK-TASTIC

One of the most popular bite-sized treats we sell at The Kiosk is Barbara's Triple-Tested-Flapjack.  Flapjack is perfect for a 'cooking with the kids' morning. Find our top recipe suggestion here.  (If it does all go horribly wrong, you can always come and taste how it should be done and buy some of Barbara's Flapjack at The Kiosk!)

9TOTALLY RUBBISH

Have a Spring clear out! Recycle any clothes that have been outgrown by donating them to one of the fabulous local charity shops. Other bits and bobs that you find cluttering up the house can also often be put to good use.  Challenge the kids to create a work of art from a load of rubbish - there are loads of ideas on the fabulous cbbc show Totally Rubbish.  And for more up-cycling ideas for kids to try (or for you to have a go at on their behalf!) have a look at this great Pintrest board. Pinspirational! 

10. LETS GO FLY A KITE

If you don't have the wherewithall to hire a Mary-Poppins-type-nanny for the day, (tempting as that might be) then do as the great lady herself advised and take your kite to Russell Park! If you didn't know, Russell Park is the home of the Kite Festival which will be back for the weekend of the 25th - 27th May 2013. Just enough time to get some practice in! All you need is a kite and bit of wind! (If you don't have a kite make your own!)

Have a wonderful Half Term - and we do hope you enjoy our activity challenge!  We'd love to know how well you did and what your top half term survival tips are too.  So head down to the Kiosk for a catch up and a reviving cup of coffee - we're open 8.30 - 5.00 all week!

Summer opening times

pavilion open 9-5pm
the window stays open until 6pm

last food orders 3:30pm

Autumn opening times
as of October 1st

pavilion open 9-4pm
the window stays open until 5pm

last food orders 3:15pm

Mondays: Café opens at 10am

we are open 7 days a week and dogs are welcome on our heated veranda during the winter months

We occasionally close early for private bookings. Please always call us to book a table & avoid being disappointed!

01234 351104

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